Western Australia takes up one third of the continent, some 2,529,000 square kilometres and 12,500 kilometres of coastline from the Timor Sea to the Southern Ocean.
It was first sighted by the Dutch in 1616 but it was not until May 2 1829 that the British claimed it. It was not until the arrival of 9,718 convicts that the settlement finally found its feet and in 1856 Perth was proclaimed a city.
The discovery of gold at Kalgoorlie and diamonds in the Kimberley set the state on its way to housing some of the wealthiest Australians.
The capital of Western Australia, Perth, enjoys lots of sunshine, natural parklands and beach lifestyle. With fantastic weather, clean uncrowded beaches, the city is situated on the banks of the Swan River which winds through the metropolis. Free buses get you around the CBD where you can visit the Perth Mint, Swan Bells Tower, Art Gallery of WA and many more Perth tourist attractions. The train and bus station is right in the centre of town, and accommodation options are plentiful catering to all budgets.
King Street is a haven for boutiques, art galleries, eateries and beautiful people. Be sure to be seen here. Murray and Hay street malls is the place for quality department and fashion chain stores.
Lunch time locations can be found from the riverside to the beachfront.
If you’re a nightlife fanatic then get to Northbridge, Mount Lawley, Leederville and Subiaco. And if you love the beach and surfing lifestyle then look no further than Cottesloe or Scarborough.
Over 80 kilometres of white sandy beaches perfect for surfing and swimming are all that separate Perth from the Indian Ocean. Kings Park botanical gardens offer a respite and relaxation together with some stunning views of this vibrant capital. There are free barbecue facilities and plenty of picnic spots to dine among the gum trees.
If sport is more your thing, catch a game of cricket, Aussie Rules or rugby at one of the sporting stadiums. The WACA is on the “free bus” circuit.
You can take a ferry to South Perth, Fremantle or Rottnest Island to take that world-famous snap of Perth’s skyline. Or hop on the train to Mandurah for a long lazy lunch.
Ferry Trip at Fremantle, Kings Park, Lake Monger, Northbridge, Ocean Beaches, Perth Mint, Zoo, and sunset at the beach.
Hopman Cup (Jan)
International Arts Festival (Jan-Feb)
Kings Park Wildflower Festival (Sept)
Rally Australia (Nov)
Perth – Swan Estuary Marine Park is a haven migratory birds each spring from as far away as Siberia.
Golfers at Joondalup Public Golf Course need to look out for western grey kangaroos when teeing off.
Rottnest Island off the coast is home to the Quokka which can be seen at dawn and dusk.
During winter humpback whales can be spotted. The island is great for snorkellers.
To the south off Rockingham there’s a colony of fairy penguins on Penguin Island. Avon Valley National Park has a good population of echidnas and you can also see western grey kangaroos and euros.
John Forrest National Park has many noisy residents in parrots and whistlers as well as the racehorse goanna.
Head north to Monkey Mia to hand feed dolphins and also see sea turtles, school sharks, manta rays and dugongs. March to late May whale sharks visit Ningaloo Marine Park, August to November for humpback whales as well as manta rays. 125 bird species all the way to Mangrove Bay. With binoculars you’ll see ospreys, herons and black footed wallabies.
The former whaling town of Albany on the southern coast now conducts whale watching tours so you can observe the Southern-right whales
A Tour to Remember:
Cape to Cape: Busselton to Cape Leeuwin via Cape Naturaliste (188 km) 2-3 days will allow enough time to view the unexpected…. . that something special that makes your trip unique.
Busselton – Begin here, 228 kilometres south of Perth, where the longest jetty in Australia juts in to Indian Ocean for 2 kilometres.
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse – Fabulous vantage point for whale viewing just an 800 metre stroll.
Canal Rocks – a canal-like rock formation which extends into the surf. The ancient fault line can be viewed from Rotary Lookout or you an follow the boardwalk (as long as you’re very careful). It’s a favourite fishing spot for anglers from May to June.
Ellensbrook – first home of the Bussell family, set by a bubbling brook. There is a circuit walk for 1.3 kilometres which winds past Meekadarribee Waterfall and Grotto.
Eagles Heritage – a rehab centre for injured birds of prey.
Mammoth Cave and Lake Cave – the interpretive Caveworks centre is at the entrance to Lake Cave.
Boranup Lookout – panoramic views of the coast and the Leeuwin-Naturaliste ridge.
Augusta – one of the oldest settlements in the state. Stand in the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean at the same time.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse – You can climb to the top for even more spectacular views of the two oceans.